Mission For Migrant Workers’ 41st Anniversary Celebration
Our service, Our Promise: Celebrating Solidarity and Care Amidst and Beyond the Pandemic
On the 5th of June 2022, the Mission For Migrant Workers celebrated its 41st anniversary. Nearly 200 members of the MFMW community came together to look back on the successes of yesterday and the challenges of tomorrow. As an outreach post of St. John’s Cathedral, the MFMW provides services to migrants anytime, anywhere. This joyous event was taken as an opportunity to both highlight the work of the MFMW and to draw attention to the needs of the migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong.
With various speakers, cultural performances and celebratory messages, the afternoon went by quickly. After an opening video and some amazing music from Filipino band HiMigrante, Father Dwight de la Torre, chaplain for the Mission for Migrant Workers, held an opening prayer to start off the event.
For the opening speech the general manager of the MFMW, Cynthia Abdon-Tellez, took the virtual floor. She reflected on the past year and the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic imposed on the migrant community and the MFMW, especially during the fifth wave. She also expressed gratitude for all the supporters of the MFMW.
During the event multiple beneficiaries talked about how the MFMW has been able to help them during the COVID-19 fifth wave, in case guidance and with training sessions. The MFMW also celebrated its partnerships with Bethune House and AMCB, as well as the grassroots migrant organizations and other NGOs in different coalitions. Videos of cultural performances by the Nepalese, Indonesian and Filipino community were shown in between the messages and speeches.
“We all know that leaving home countries to serve in this small city is never an easy task and we thank MFMW and all domestic migrant workers for all the work that you have done in the past 41 years or even longer”, Revd. Kwok-Keung Chan, Dean of St. John’s Cathedral mentioned in his message. The chairperson of the MFMW advisory board, Daniel Feldmann, mentioned the “tremendous support people in Hong Kong receive from our dear migrant workers”, as the MFMW continues “to focus our support to those in need.”
In the closing speech, Rev. Philip Wickeri mentioned how “sometimes we need to sit back and listen to enjoy who we are and what we are doing” and that listening to the music and all the speakers was very inspirational.
The event was closed off by a beautiful performance of the song ‘heal the world’ by Michael Jackson. The MFMW staff, migrant workers, and local and international friends joined to sing the following closing lyrics: “Heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for me, and the entire human race.”
2022年6月5日，外勞事工中心透過線上形式慶祝41週年紀念日。外勞事工中心團隊及友好藉此機會聚首一堂，回顧過往的成就及展望將來。作為聖約翰座堂的外展事工，外勞事工中心隨時、隨地為外勞提供服務。此次普天同慶的活動藉以宣傳中心的工作，亦同時希望引起公眾對本港外勞狀況及需要的關注。隨著眾多位講者的演講、文化表演，以及慶祝信息，午間的時間飛逝。欣賞過開場視頻及菲律賓樂隊HiMigrante的精彩音樂表演後，外勞事工中心的德懷特•德•拉•託雷（Dwight De la Torre）牧師帶領開幕祈禱，為活動拉開序幕。
外勞事工中心總幹事 Cynthia Abdon-Tellez為開幕禮致辭。她回顧過往一年，以及新冠疫情為外勞社群和外勞事工中心帶來的挑戰，尤其在第五波疫情期間。她亦對所有外勞事工中心的支持者表示感激。
在活動中，多名受收助者談及外勞事工中心如何於疫情期間幫助她們，包括個案指導和培訓課程。外勞事工中心亦頌揚其與白恩逢之家(Bethune House Migrants Women Refuge)、亞洲移居人士聯盟 (Asian Migrants Coordinating Body)，以及不同基層外勞組織和其他非政府組織的伙伴關係。在慶祝信息與演講之間，大會亦播放了由尼泊爾、印尼，和菲律賓團體所籌備的文化表演視頻。
在閉幕致辭中，魏克利（Philip L. Wickeri）牧師提及：「有時候，我們需要坐下來細心傾聽，享受自我，享受當下」，而聆聽著音樂和演講實在是鼓舞人心。
活動隨著米高•積遜的歌曲「Heal the World」結束，歌曲表演扣人心弦。外勞事工中心職員、外勞、本地，以及海外的朋友同聲合唱以下的歌詞：「拯救這世界，讓它變得更美好，為了你，為了我，為了全人類（Heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for me, and the entire human race）。」
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shown how migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong are still marginalised, vulnerable and underprivileged.
According to a recent survey
by the MFMW!
of respondents experienced financial difficulty during the pandemic
1 in every 2
reported to have conducted work on their rest days
3 out of every 5
migrant workers suffer from high stress levels
1 out of every 4
is reporting feelings of depression
With insufficient support available for this community, there is a continuous demand for welfare services including funding for food, medical support, and shelter assistance. The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic also reveal that there is a developing need to increase their employability, secure their wages and remittances and improve both their physical and mental health.
As a non-subvented registered charitable organisation in Hong Kong, the MFMW must generate its own funds to sustain its services. We completely rely on individual donors and private funding. A regular donation will help us improve our sustainability and ensure good planning of programs to comprehensively support migrant domestic workers’ needs in a sustainable manner.